By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger is concerned that some managers may use security concerns at the Africa Cup of Nations to gain an unfair advantage in the Premier League.
Tragedy struck the tournament on Friday when the Togo team bus came under attack from gunmen in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, leaving three people dead and others injured.
Togo have since withdrawn from the competition and some Premier League bosses have signalled their intention to bring their African players back to England.
But Wenger has no intention of trying to recall Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue from Angola and he is worried that some managers may manipulate the situation for their own means.
"It wouldn’t be fair, let’s say that," declared Wenger. "Behind things like that, is it a selfish motivation or is it a real issue over security? We, here, are not in the best position to judge the security of this competition
"That’s why I don’t want to do it [recall my players]. If you organise the European Championships and you have an incident like that - it can happen, and has happened already - you do not want all your players suddenly to move home. International competition is international competition.
"If the security within the country is well-organised [then that is what matters]. You hear many noises now that they [the Togo squad] were told not to travel by bus, I’ve heard, and to fly in. So I don’t know what happened there. And, as well, why no one from the official organisation was travelling with them. I don’t know.”
Wenger admitted in his post-match press conference on Saturday that Angola was a "troubled country" with "political unrest" but, speaking later, he stopped short of condemning the decision to host the Africa Cup of Nations there.
"It’s always like that," said the Arsenal manager. "When you hear sometimes there’s unrest in the suburbs of London, you still live well in London. When I speak to my friends in France, they ask me: ‘Is a revolution happening in London?’ It’s the same in Paris, you know. You immediately think it’s a revolution everywhere. It’s not always the case.
"You have to judge the place, whether the competition can go on or not, and I don’t know [the intricacies]. I don’t like this culture of fear, either. I hate that."Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source